Crowdfunding Underway for El Buen Comer, a New Restaurant on Mission

El Buen Comer at Heart_18-1

There’s a crowdfunding campaign underway to open a terrific new restaurant on Mission Street at Kingston in Bernal Heights, and it’s hard not to love.

El Buen Comer is the pride and joy of Isabel Pazos, a budding chef from Mexico who has been honing her craft at local farmer’s markets at at La Cocina, the local incubator for food entrepreneurs. She hopes to raise another $21,000 in the next two weeks, and here’s the story:

Hi, my name is Isabel Pazos. I am the owner of El Buen Comer, a soon-to-be restaurant in Bernal Heights San Francisco. Seven years ago I decided to follow my passion for cooking and turn it into my career as a way to help support my family. I began selling food out of the kitchen in my apartment. Before I knew it the people of my community became my biggest supporters, lining up outside of my apartment door waiting for the day’s offering, and I outgrew my little home kitchen. In a stroke of luck one night while watching television with my family, an old friend of mine from Mexico City appeared on-screen. She was talking about La Cocina and how they were able to guide her with the process of formalizing her food business. After that night, with a little push from my family, I decided to reach out to La Cocina. Fast forward seven years and something I didn’t think I could dream is now a reality.

I am opening my very own restaurant! Sometimes I can’t believe it… Nothing brings me more joy than cooking for people and very soon I will be able to start doing just that. With your contributions to this campaign I will be able to purchase the last key pieces of equipment that I need in order to start feeding my customers. In supporting El Buen Comer you will also be supporting the community around us. When designing our restaurant the most important aspect for us was creating an extension of our family’s dinner table. Our hope is that at El Buen Comer our neighbors will find a vibrant, comfortable and must importantly delicious space that they can visit often.

You can contribute to the campaign here. Still want to learn more? CAUTION: This video will melt your corazón:

PHOTO: Top, Isabel Pazos, founder of El Buen Comer, doing what she loves. Courtesy of La Cocina

You’re Invited to the Official Pinkie’s Bakery Grand Opening on Saturday Afternoon


It’s been a few months since Sandbox Bakery was sold to Pinkie’s Bakery, so by now we trust you’ve had enough time to reach the later stages of your own Kübler-Ross cycle. Take a moment to let the Acceptance flow through your neurons.

Now, doesn’t that feel better?

While we’ve been working on that, owner Cheryl Burr of Pinkie’s has been working hard to make the place her own, and that process is complete too.  Now Pinkie’s Bakery is ready for an official grand opening at 833 Cortland, and you’re on the guest list:

I’d like to invite the Bernal Heights community to Pinkie’s grand opening party this Saturday, from 1-3 p.m. We’ll be serving sweets, savories, and bubbly!

The transition is nearly complete, and Pinkie’s signage goes up on Friday afternoon. We also commissioned a new interior mural (thanks, New Bohemia!).

We’ve been gradually adding items from Pinkie’s (donuts, cake, bacon brioche, eggy challah, etc.), and we’ll launch a new menu of sandwiches next week.

Hope to see you on Saturday!


PHOTO: Maria del Rio for Pinkie’s Bakery

Fabulous Bernal Editor Creating Cookbook to Feed Your People


Scientific fun-fact: Food tastes better when you enjoy it with other people. The reverse is true too: Sharing food is a great way to get know people in a way that makes you care more about them.

With those profound truths in mind, Bernal Neighbor and editor Leslie Jonath has a crowdfunding campaign underway to publish  Feed Your People, a cookbook that will celebrate yummy food as a way to create stronger community.

(ROMANTIC DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: Neighbor Leslie is also my sweetie, and she’s asleep in bed upstairs as I write this now. Shhhhhh.)

Neighbor Leslie writes:

Feed Your People is a community-based cookbook with recipes for crowd-pleasing big batch cooking from warm-hearted cooks, chefs, community organizations, and grandmas for the foods we gather around — from backyard barbecues and soup suppers to hand-wrapped tamales, dumpling dinners, and seafood boils. Whether for a family reunion, a DIY wedding, holidays, memorials, non-profit fundraisers or a neighborhood block party, this book will inspire you and make cooking for your community a delicious, affordable, fun, memorable feast.

Despite the popularity of supper clubs, pop-up dinners, block parties, bake sales, and community dinners, there are very few books featuring recipes that scale for a crowd. Feed Your People will be co-authored with 18 Reasons, a beloved San Francisco based non-profit whose mission is to “empower our community with confidence and creativity to buy, cook, and eat good food every day” and published by Powerhouse Books.

If bringing great people together with great food sounds like your kind of thing, backing Neighbor Leslie’s campaign is just like pre-ordering a copy of the book — with the advance knowledge that the book will simply have with a loooooooooong delivery time.

Leslie explains what her book is all about in the video below, and you can contribute to Feed Your People here.

Bernal Neighbor Will Magically Transform Your Surplus Fruit Into Tasty Jam or Chutney


Are you up to your eyeballs in surplus fruit from your backyard fruit trees? Neighbor Jaiya would like to help:

Do you have fruit trees that are giving more than you know what to do with? Would you like to see that excess transformed into something delicious? I can turn your extra fruit into sweet preserves or savory chutneys. You provide the main ingredient, I come up with a recipe, make it, can it, and share the results with you.

I have been a home canner and baker for years, and love sharing what I make with friends. Since I’ve been living in an apartment in Bernal, I’ve had to venture outside the city limits to collect my favorite fruits for my home canning projects. Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that there are abundant fruit trees (apples, pears, quince, figs, and meyer lemons) right here in Bernal Heights that are producing more than their owners can consume.

So, Bernal Neighbors… If you have extra fruit on your trees, let me turn it into a delicious treat to share with you. Just contact me at jaiyapie *AT* yahoo *DOT* com. I’m looking forward to meeting you, sharing recipe ideas, and enjoying the harvest.

Bon appetit!

PHOTO: Some jam and chutney made during the last few weeks, by Neighbor Jaiya

New “Food Hub” Organized in South Bernal Heights


Neighbor Ben on Moultrie has started a Farmigo food hub in South Bernal.

Which begs the question: What’s a Farmingo food hub??? Let’s let Neighbor Ben explain:

Are you interested in an easy way to get farmer’s-market fruits and veggies (plus eggs, yogurt, cheese, meat, fish, pickles, jams, bread, pasta, grains, and much more) that are local, fresh, & delicious during the week, delivered to a drop-off point for easy pickup?

Sydney and I have decided to organize a South Bernal Farmigo community to enable anyone in the neighborhood (or others, if it’s convenient) to do just that.

Our pickup time will be from 5:30-7:30 pm on Wednesdays, which means it’ll be perfectly timed to get you through the 2nd half of the week with products that are comparable to those from a nice farmer’s market with incredible variety.

Here’s how it works: 

  • Each week, between Thursday morning and Sunday at midnight, head on over to Farmigo’s online marketplace, where you can pick and choose whatever you want from the partnered farms and producers.
  • When you’ve placed your order, your food is packed into a bag just for you, making pick up a breeze, even if you order from a bunch of different farms.
  • Pick up your order at our house — 649 Moultrie St. — every Wednesday, from 5:30-7:30 pm.
  • Your credit card will be charged for exactly what you receive after you pick up. Don’t worry! There’s a 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the quality of the products you receive on any given week.

Interested? Check it out here. And you can use the code LOCAL20 to get 20% off your first order:

But be sure to get your order in by Sunday at midnight in order to pick up on Wednesday.


Is this a CSA?
Farmigo is similar to a CSA in that both provide access fresh, seasonal food from local farmers. And there *are* bundles you can order, including mixed produce baskets. BUT part of what makes this great if that you can choose exactly what you want each week — whether that’s a bunch of fruits and veggies, a pizza, a quiche, bloody mary mix, avocados, yogurt, or fresh ravioli. So it’s more like a farmer’s market with just an enormous amount of variety.

Is this a subscription?

No. Each week, you can select exactly what you want (and if you don’t want anything, just don’t do anything — there’s nothing automatic unless you specify a recurring order).

Are there added fees?
No. There’s no minimum order, no delivery fee, and no long-term commitment required, so just start shopping!

Why are you doing this, Neighbor Ben?
There are three reasons: we’re getting a small discount on our own orders (30% off), we’re keen to help more neighbors access locally-sourced, sustainably made food, and we’re very interested in seeing how this type of a setup can work, and if and how technology can help make local food systems more viable.
Other questions?
Want to contact me?
PHOTO: a Farmingo basket, via Neighbor Ben

Meet the Winner of Last Weekend’s Guacamole Taste Test Smackdown


Remember that Guac-Off guacamole competition Bernalwood told you about last weekend? The one at the glamorous Farmhouse Mansion on Folsom?

It sounded like a lot of fun — and rather tasty — so we asked organizer Luke Spray to tell us who won the guacamole taste-test. He writes:

On Saturday afternoon 150+ people converged on a magical piece of San Francisco, Dr.Rick’s Dr.Avocado’s Farmhouse Mansion, for the 4th Annual Indian Summer Guac-off.

We’re continually amazed at the type of people that a guacamole competition brings together. It’s like a litmus test for being a good human. We had more kids and dogs than we could count, and we brought in numerous strangers off the street to taste San Francisco’s best guacamoles.


33 contestants decided share guacamole with friends and strangers alike, and as always, that’s the true magic of the party. We had guac’s with bacon, guac’s with dill, even guac’s with tequila, but only one can be named the winner.


After voters registered (by taking a small shot of tequila) each person got to vote for their guacamole of choice, and the people and you ended up crowing Elle Garcia’s Simple Guacamole as the “Official Guacamole of San Francisco” and the winner of the amazing Guacamole Glory Trophy! Elle and her family recently moved here from Chicago, and she found out about the competition through her daughter, who (secretly) entered her in the competition.

Elle didn’t give away her secret ingredient, but she clamied that the Simple Guacamole was just that: simple. The rumor floating around the garden though was that Elle’s guacamole was the one that had the perfect amount of salt in it.


We gave away plenty of other prizes from our amazing sponsors. Prizes like most people brought to the party and best guacamole name. DSF made some absolutely amazing guacamole shirts, totes, koozies and aprons for us. PBR kept everyone loose and hydrated by supplying us with a ton of beer. Workshop, our local DIY institution awarded our winner Elle with some free classes. Alite, the best local outdoor company that there is gave away some of their (guacamole) cookware. Professional Fans and American Tripps gave away tickets to some of the hottest shows + ping pong parties in town. Tiny Warrior and George & Lennie—our two favorite coffee shops—gave away some free coffee. We forgot to give away the amazing prize pack from the best local radio station in SF,, so we ended up giving it to someone we enjoyed conversation with, which just proves that you should always talk to strangers.

In the end, it was a perfect way to spend an afternoon. In years past we’re looked up to the trophy hoisted proudly into the sky on the first sunny weekend of the “summer”, as if it were reminding us of what the sun looks like. This year though the sun beat us to it, and the trophy was hoisted on a foggy San Francisco hilltop, surrounded by a broad variety of San Franciscans, as if to remind us that this City still has some magic left to share with us.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Luke Spray

Thursday: Drink Wine, Eat Bites at the new Avenue Space on Mission

You might have already noticed it, but there’s a new business on the burgeoning Mission/La Lengua corridor, right across the street from our Taoist Safeway: Avenue.

But what is it? 

Avenue is an event studio and creative space pivotally located between the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods. With the aim to inspire collaboration, Avenue celebrates local talents and innovative visions of the surrounding communities and beyond.

The 850-square-foot studio features 14-foot ceilings, a west-facing facade allowing profuse light, and ample wall space for art curation/installation. There is also a private conference room that comfortably accommodates 4-6 people.

We welcome you to our space! Use our beautiful canvas as a foundation for your creativity. Conduct meetings, parties, photo shoots, art shows, community events and more.

Neighbor Jennifer (of Andover Street) tells us Avenue will be hosting a Wine & Bites event this Thursday, September 17th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at Avenue.  They’re partnering up with Front Porch, Blue Plate, and Ichi to make it happen.

Get your tickets here, and all the details follow:


PHOTO: via Avenue